How Long After a Fall Can You File a Claim?

How Long After a Fall Can You File a Claim?

Apart from a few special circumstances, you have two years from the date of a California slip and fall accident to file a damages claim against the parties whose negligence caused your accident. However, you can improve your opportunity to recover compensation when you file your claim as soon as possible. Your slip and fall injury lawyer has a better chance of gathering and preserving evidence to determine which parties may be liable for your losses and injuries. 

If you’ve been hurt, consult with a Los Angeles slip and fall injury lawyer at Ellis Law. We have almost 30 years of experience recovering substantial damages awards for accident victims. Our in-depth knowledge and skill in the slip and fall claims process have placed us at the forefront of personal injury attorneys. We fight against insurance companies that seek to minimize or deny full compensation. Call today to schedule a free consultation. 

What are the Time Limits for California Slip and Fall Claims? 

 The statute of limitations in California for a slip and fall injury claim is generally two years from the accident date.  However, it may be different under certain special circumstances: 

  • If the injury could not have been discovered through the exercise of reasonable diligence within two years after the accident, you may be able to file your claim within one year after you discovered it. 
  • If the accident victim is a minor child under 18, a slip and fall injury claim can be filed within two years after their 18th birthday. 
  • If a California government entity owns or controls the property where the slip and fall accident occurred, the victim must initiate a claim within six months under special notice and claim procedures outlined in the California Government Claims Act. 
  • If you miss the filing deadline, you may lose your right and opportunity to recover the damages you deserve. You can best preserve your rights by contacting a California injury attorney as soon as you can after your health is stabilized. 

How is Liability Determined in a California Slip and Fall Case? 

To recover compensation, a slip and fall accident victim must first prove negligence on the part of the property owner. To do this, the evidence from the accident must establish that the property owner knew or should have known about a hazardous condition on the property but failed to correct it or warn visitors about it.  

The victim should avoid obvious dangerous conditions on someone else’s property. However, if they have no other options and must travel across an open hazard, the owner may bear some liability due to a failure to provide a safe pathway around it. 

It is the property owner’s duty to fix a hazard within a reasonable amount of time. If, for example, someone slips on a wet surface immediately after a liquid spill, the property owner will likely not be liable. If, however, the owner allows several hours to elapse before wiping up the liquid, they may be liable for injuries that are the direct and proximate result of a slip and fall. 

What Should a California Slip and Fall Victim Do After an Accident? 

An accident victim’s actions after a California slip and fall can make a big difference between recovering fair and reasonable compensation versus a nominal damages award. In particular, the injured party should: 

  • Have a medical exam in an emergency room or a critical care clinic to set a baseline for injuries and to preclude defenses that injuries occurred due to some other activity after the clip and fall. 
  • Follow all instructions from health care providers, including all recommendations for treatment and therapy. 
  • Gather evidence about the hazardous condition that caused the accident, including photographs or videos of the scene and statements and contact information from eyewitnesses. 
  • Notify the property owner or manager about the incident and, if possible, file an accident report with law enforcement authorities. 

Finally, contact and retain an experienced California slip and fall lawyer who will intervene with insurance companies and file all claims in a timely manner. 

How Can a Los Angeles Slip and Fall  Attorney Help You? 

The California slip and fall attorneys at Ellis Injury Law will assume the burden of dealing with property owners and insurance companies so you can focus on recovering. We will also pursue your claims against every party that contributed to your accident and fight tirelessly to collect damages to pay for your medical bills, replace your lost wages, and compensate you for pain and suffering. 

We have recovered more than $350 million in damages for personal injury accident victims in San Bernardino, Riverside, Bakersfield, and elsewhere in and around Los Angeles. Please call our offices for a no-fee, no-obligation consultation. Since we work on a contingency fee basis, you will not pay attorney’s fees unless we win compensation for your injuries.